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 Post subject: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 10:38 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:07 pm
Posts: 974
Location: Leicester, MA.
Now, I have to explain the reasoning behind this discussion. Currently stored in North Conway, NH and owned by the 470 railroad club of Portland, ME, the 501 is currently undergoing a cosmetic restoration. HOWEVER, she was at one point being restored to operation through a project under 470 club leadership. Sadly, that effort ground to a hault, and the former "master mechanic" has left a nearly impossible wall that would have to be conquered to get 501 on the high iron once again. Could 501 be restored? yes. Are we talking an overnight effort? absolutely not.

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 Post subject: Re: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 11:03 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2436
Not being familiar with the group or project at all, can you give us a general idea of what the "nearly impossible wall" would be? Obviously any steam loco restoration is a tall order, but you make it sound like the former MM actually created more work than there would normally be? Is there more than the usual work required?

Without any detail, it's hard to comment.


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 Post subject: Re: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 11:27 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 7:57 am
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Location: Faulkland, Delaware
Putting a locomotive back in steam today requires way more effort than doing so circa 1970 or 1980. The days of WD-40 restorations are long since past. Nothing is impossible, it just takes time and money.

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 Post subject: Re: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 12:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:10 am
Posts: 2336
Moderators, watch this thread.

#501 is the "K-4 of New England" when it comes to flame wars.

IMHO, it is best to leave idyll speculation off RYPN. There are other boards that welcome it, especially regarding #501.

Rob

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 Post subject: Re: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 2:30 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:07 pm
Posts: 974
Location: Leicester, MA.
First, rypn is a place of learning, so I only hope this doesn't become a flame war. The hurdle i was refering to is the old "master mechanic", John Smythe. He is, well, defensive when 501 comes up. My guess is that he is still reeling after the project leader, Matt Rines died. He is really the main obstacle, although (i think) he's not trying to be that problem. Can't help but want to cheer him up... As far as I can understand, 470 club would love to get 501 running, bu couple Smythe with the 4266's priority for work, and viola, there's the problem

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 Post subject: Re: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 2:54 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1234
daylight4449 wrote:
The hurdle i was refering to is the old "master mechanic", John Smythe. He is, well, defensive when 501 comes up. He is really the main obstacle, although (i think) he's not trying to be that problem.

Can't help but want to cheer him up... As far as I can understand, 470 club would love to get 501 running, bu couple Smythe with the 4266's priority for work, and viola, there's the problem



Can't you be specific about how Mr. Smythe is allegedly holding up the work? Otherwise, how are we supposed to evaluate the situation? How are we supposed to know if your charge against Mr. Smythe is fair or well founded?


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 Post subject: Re: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 4:27 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5284
Location: southeastern USA
Reading between the lines, it seems Mr Smythe is busy working on the other engine so 501 takes a back seat? If so, maybe there's good reason for his priority. What might that be?

If 470 club wants progress but has nobody in charge who has time to commit, obviously you need to find a qualified individual with the time to take over. Unless, of course, ther are political or practical reasons the job can't be filled with anybody else. Is that the case?

Hmmmmm.... looks like 470 club has also set aside the priority on 470 to focus on 501. Perhaps 470 club needs to focus on 470 and let the 501 club take on 501. There must be some history here that could be relevant.

I spent several hours consulting unofficially with Matt Rines a few years back, and there were some issues about boiler work that needed addressing if I recall correctly. If there has not yet been a solution developed for that issue, there could be a hold up there.

Anyhow, you will get better responses if you provide adequate context for your perceptions that make up the basis for the inquiry. I'm still not sure why something else needs to happen with 501 or how RyPN readers can make any difference based on just what I have read so far.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 4:49 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
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Location: Thomaston & White Plains
As Rob Davis so succinctly put it, MEC 501 is indeed the "K-4 of New England Steam". There are many things that are best not discussed due to past incidents, including threatened litigation about commentary on the interwebs and otherwise. There is lots of bad blood surrounding this one, for sure. Let sleeping dogs slumber.

501 is apparently getting a nice cosmetic restoration so that it will be an attractive addition to the displays at North Conway. That sounds like a very positive development to me.

Not everything needs to run; a locomotive owned by a regional railfan group and displayed/stored at a for-profit tourist railroad is probably an unlikely candidate for the expensive restoration needed (Who pays for it? On what schedule? What are the lease/operation terms?). Daylight 4449 is a well-meaning 15-year old who has lots of enthusiasm, apparently has lots and lots of time to spend on various railroad discussion boards speculating about all sorts of things, and has little or no experience in our field. I don't think he quite yet understands that in this world, some things should simply be left alone for the owners/involved parties to deal with.

As a certain young steam loco-operating-commodities broker said, once upon a time, to a certain even younger steam and preservation enthusiast, "(name here) , it takes MONEY!" Dylan, please take the advice you were offered on some other forums: study hard, get good grades, get into a good school and make a fortune. Then, start worrying about what locomotives should be/can be restored. When you've developed the next Facebook or Google, and have the fortune that comes with that, you can call the shots (up to a point).

Howard P.

Young & Eager, NY

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 Post subject: Re: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 5:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1062
Location: Pacific, MO
What needs to be posted are the mechanical issues that need to be addressed. Any group in the country can find a whipping boy somewhere to blame for a job not getting done, done incorrectly, etc, etc. This isn't the place to air all that stuff or dissect personalities, question manhood or birth certificates, just stick to the nuts and bolts.
Post photos, don't ask general questions about "what needs to be done" or "how much would it take" unless you have an accurate description of where the project is and the condition of the machine. The thread will stay a lot more pleasant and educational that way.


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 Post subject: Re: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 6:16 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8459
Location: Baltimore, MD
Frisco1522 wrote:
What needs to be posted are the mechanical issues that need to be addressed.


Correction: It would be NICE if someone were to post a "laundry list" of such issues allegedly in question. But unless someone is actively engaged in fund-raising for restoration under the auspices of a 501(c)3 non-profit expressly for potential return to operation, those issues don't HAVE to be posted. And frankly, you don't even have a legal reason to post that list as a 501(c)3 (or if you simply solicit donations or "shares" without tax-exempt status), but it sure makes life easier for you as a fundraiser.

And, granted, a documented "laundry list" would eliminate a LOT of wasted electrons here and elsewhere, or at least shift the focus of the name-calling/accusations......


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 Post subject: Re: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:07 am
Posts: 1114
Location: Northeastern US
I am in complete agreement with Rob and Howard -we should leave this alone! The 501 is owned by the 470 Club. The club has recently signed a long-term lease with CSRR to keep the 501 as a static display for many years to come. Daylight4449 does not know the whole story, and in fact obviously only knows "one side" of it.

Stephen


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 Post subject: Re: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2011 8:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 9:06 pm
Posts: 2178
Location: Thomaston & White Plains
There's a lot more here than meets the eye, or the interwebs. Personally, I think we should all simply move on. There is literally nothing to see here (until 501's cosmetic restoration is completed).

Howard P.

No Dog in This Hunt, NY

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 Post subject: Re: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 12:21 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5284
Location: southeastern USA
"These are NOT the droids you are looking for........."

Another conspiracy theory under construction.

Ok, 15 is a great age to learn to think things around and through, explore various points of view, consider different and opposing constructs mentally at the same time while challenging one's own beliefs and passions, and to teach one's self through the Socratic method. That's why I'm asking questions that might lead to critical thinking, rather than just making a statement - while trying hard not to explain why there are not dozens of companies competing within the new replica steam locomotive market in the US right now.

Enthusiasm tempered by reason and knowledge is what we need - not loose cannons rumbling across the deck every time the ship lists a bit.

Seems a tender spot was nudged here, might want to take another tack for a while.

dave

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Andrea Hairston


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 Post subject: Re: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 6:55 am 

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:07 pm
Posts: 974
Location: Leicester, MA.
Well, down to the details of the cosmetic restoration. Has anyone seen anything new? When I was up in north conway back in 07 and 08, she was still in primer. Paint is a definite improvement. So, has there been any new developments?

Going onto the "K4 of NE" theory, 501 could fall under that bracket, but only by a small margin. John has continueally bashed Conway Scenic and 470 club for years (I've started looking up on him within the last few months), and it's due to those rants and constant attacks that make 501 such a touchy topic. But I could be wrong. Having been up there before paint was applied a few months ago, I will admit that even though a lifeless hulk of steel, there's something about 501 that has be smitten with he, more so than the 4449! Then again, that's expected when I've only visited a handful of scenic lines and museums in New England. As for discussion of operation, my thought would be to try and keep it on the cosmetic for the time being. At the same time, what do we know about 501 and it's class members anyway?

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 Post subject: Re: The Maine Central 501: What should be done?
PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2011 1:12 pm 

Joined: Wed May 12, 2010 1:24 pm
Posts: 46
You tell us, Dylan! This would be an excellent question to research and brief your fellow RYPN colleagues on. I can stand and lecture my class on a variety of historical topics and about 30-40% (if I'm lucky) will recall what I said. On the other hand, I can assign them reading or some type of task where they are "engaged" in the learning and I am just the facilitator. Statistically, you will remember more by feeding your natural curiosity. So, consider this your homework!


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